U.K. Pub Group Marston’s Toasts Return to Pre-Pandemic Levels
U.K. pub group Marston’s Plc signaled a strong recovery after coronavirus restrictions were lifted, saying sales in the most recent quarter rose above pre-pandemic levels.
During the 10 weeks since July 25, comparable sales rose 2% versus 2019 levels while overall sales “continue to improve” and are in line with the company’s expectations, according to a trading update Wednesday.
Marston’s pointed to its limited exposure to London and other city centers helping to propel its recovery. It also reported a stronger performance for its premium pubs and received a helping hand from accommodation sales, boosted by “staycation” holidays.
While cost inflation has troubled many U.K. companies and the labor market remains tight, Marston’s said it was managing staff shortages well and the majority of its 2022 costs are contracted in. As for supply-chain troubles, it said it’s seen “some small pockets of disruption,” but is working closely with suppliers to manage those.
Marston’s pubs were able to reopen for outdoor drinking in England from April 12, and from April 26 across Scotland and Wales, with indoor business permitted across all of its outlets from May 17.
The shares were little changed early Wednesday in London.
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